NBA Power Rankings
The biggest question that needs to be answered when the NBA resumes (besides the silly home court advantage rules) is how teams and players will perform after having an extended period of time away from practice and training facilities.
The 76ers should be a team that benefits from time off, given the injuries to Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, and Joel Embiid.
CBS Sports released their first full slate of Power Rankings since March for the teams returning to play. Not much of a surprise here. The Bucks, Lakers, Clippers, and Raptors sit atop the rankings.
I did find it to be somewhat of a surprise that the Heat, Thunder, and Rockets found spots above the Sixers.
The Sixers currently sit at #10 in the current rankings per CBS Sports:
A few months ago the 76ers faced the prospect of beginning the playoffs without one of their two All-Stars, as Ben Simmons dealt with a chronic back injury. Now it looks like they’ll have both Simmons and Joel Embiid at full strength when teams report to Orlando. Philadelphia won’t have to worry about its dismal road record (10-24) at Disney World, but the 76ers also won’t have their sterling home-court advantage (29-2), so they’re truly one of the more perplexing teams. They haven’t seemed to put things entirely together all season long, but given their talent and the way they match up with Milwaukee, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if they end up in the NBA Finals. Then again, a first-round exit also wouldn’t be shocking. What a strange team.
Worth Noting: NBA.com has the Sixers at 12 (lol). Sporting News has the Sixers at 5.
Not to beat a dead horse, yes, the Sixers are heading to the Magic Kingdom 100% healthy which is great news for a team that has battled the injury bug all season long.
When I look at the Sixers, it’s hard to not focus on the good games when the team was healthy. I look back at opening night against Boston, Christmas Day against the Bucks, and the final game before the All-Star break against the Clippers. That’s the Sixers team we should hope to see next month in Disney.
With the emergence of Shake Milton, there’s also hope that we have found the missing piece on the outside that can work a pick-and-roll and spot up for a three point shot at a high percentage.
CBS Sports gives you some bullshit prediction stating “they could be in the finals but they could be out 1st round”. That doesn’t really work for me. Sixers are a finals contender this year assuming everyone stays healthy and comes to Disney with the mindset they had before everything was shut down.
Joel Embiid is hungry. Ben Simmons attacking. Shake Milton emerging. Tobias Harris consistent. J-Rich contributing at all three levels of scoring. That’s what we need, plus solid bench minutes from Al Horford, Matisse Thybulle, GRIII, and Alec Burks.
Since the construction of this team, we have been promised that they were built for the playoffs and if that happens, the entire NBA should be scared to face the Sixers.